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Czech Republic ties for EU’s lowest unemployment

Unemployment rate was the lowest since November 2008

The euro area (EA19) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.4 percent in December 2015, down from 10.5 percent in November 2015, and from 11.4 percent in December 2014.

The CzechRepublic tied with Germany for lowest unemployment in the EU, with 4.5 percent.

“The unemployment rate in December 2015 was the lowest since November 2008. In the long term, we are among the Member States that have a low unemployment rate. The worst conditions in the labor market, according to Eurostat, are in Greece and Spain,” Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) director Iva Ritschelová said.

According to the ČSÚ, the employment rate in the Czech Republic — the share of employed persons in the age group 15–64 years, as percentage), seasonally adjusted, reached 70.7 percent in December 2015 and increased by 1.1 percentage point compared to that in December 2014.

The male employment rate was 78.5 percent; the female employment rate was 62.6 percent, both seasonally adjusted. The employment rate of persons aged 15–29 years, seasonally adjusted, was 46.8 percent, in the age group 30–49 years it attained 86.3 percent, and in the age group 50 – 64 years it got to 66.9 percent.

The general unemployment rate of the 15–64 age group (the share of the unemployed in the labor force, that is in the total number of the employed and the unemployed, as percentage), seasonally adjusted, reached 4.5 percent in December 2015 and decreased by 1.4 percentage point, year-on-year.

The male unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, attained 3.7 percent; the female unemployment rate was 5.6 percent.

Eurostat’s figures show same monthly unemployment rate for the CzechRepublic, but for the age group 15–74 years.

The age group 65–74 years is characterized by a low number of unemployed persons and therefore there was a slightly lower general unemployment rate in the group 15–74 years of age.

Data for the Czech Republic are based on monthly data from the Labor Force Sample Survey (LFSS).

For the euro area, the Eurostat statistics show the lowest recorded rate since September 2011.

The EU28 unemployment rate was 9.0 percent in December 2015, stable compared to November 2015, and down from 9.9 percent in December 2014.

This is the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since June 2009.

Eurostat estimates that 21.944 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 16.750 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2015.

Compared with November 2015, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 52,000 in the EU28 and by 49,000 in the euro area. Compared with December 2014, unemployment fell by 2.026 million in the EU28 and by 1.501 million in the euro area.

EU member states

Among the EU member states, the lowest unemployment rates in December 2015 were recorded in the Czech Republic and Germany (both 4.5 percent), Malta and the United Kingdom (both 5.1 percent, October data for the UK).

The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (24.5 percent in October 2015) and Spain (20.8 percent).

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in December 2015 fell in 23 member atates, remained stable in Estonia and increased in four.

The largest decreases were registered in Spain (from 23.6 percent to 20.8 percent), Slovakia (from 12.4 percent to 10.6 percent) and Portugal (from 13.6 percent to 11.8 percent). The increases were registered in Finland (from 9.0 percent to 9.5 percent), Austria (from 5.6 percent to 5.8 percent), Latvia (from 10.1 percent to 10.2 percent) and Romania (from 6.6 percent to 6.7 percent).

In December 2015, the unemployment rate in the United States was 5.0 percent, stable compared to November 2015 and down from 5.6 percent in December 2014.

Youth unemployment

In December 2015, 4.454 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.057 million were in the euro area. Compared with December 2014, youth unemployment decreased by 426 000 in the EU28 and by 229 000 in the euro area. In December 2015, the youth unemployment rate was 19.7 percent in the EU28 and

22.0 percent in the euro area, compared with 21.2 percent and 23.0 percent respectively in December 2014.

In December 2015, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.0 percent), Denmark (10.3 percent) and the Czech Republic (10.9 percent), and the highest in Greece (48.6 percent in October 2015), Spain (46.0 percent), Croatia (44.1 percent in the fourth quarter 2015) and Italy (37.9 percent).

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New Lítačka card was prepared in secret and will be phased in Updated The controversial Opencard, which works as a mass transit pass and library card, will be phased out and replaced with a new card with a working name of Lítačka. Prague City Hall has been working on the preparing the new card in secret. Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) announced the new card at a press conference, after rumors of the launch had already spread through Czech media. “We have prepared a custom solution that is cheap, reliable and above all we will operate it ourselves,” Krnáčová said in a news release. “We will operate in a totally different manner than before. The new solution will cost us less than in the past,” she said. Krnáčová said the card would be launched in test operation in February and people could be using it for travel by the middle of the year. The total cost of the project will not exceed Kč 6 million. The new Lítačka card will be introduced gradually depending on the expiration date of the user’s current Opencard. The two cards will operate side by side in a transition period. The new card, since it is operated by the city, will not require the city to make monthly service payments to the operating company, the news release said. Opencard was launched in 2007, but there were allegations at the time that the cost of the project was too high and several audits were launched. A police investigation concluded in 2010 concluded the project was overpriced, and several city councilors were charged with violating competition laws and received suspended sentences. Some of the sentences were eventually overturned or softened, however. To date, the Opencard project has cost the Kč 1.74 billion. The Opencard project continues to be controversial, with the current operator and the city locked in a dispute with the current operator eMoneyServices (EMS) over access to the program to operate the cards. Krnáčová cited Opencard as one of the most egregious examples of problems in city administration when she took office in November 2014. She said in 2015 that Opencard would be replaced within two years. Opposition politicians from TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats (ODS) voiced objections to the project being developed in secrecy. EMS representatives also voiced objections to the new card.
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